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Goafest 2018 wraps up with stories of courage, rebellion & being human

The 13th edition of Goafest 2018 concluded in a blaze of glory after three days of knowledge seminars and conclaves by industry experts, parties and evenings filled with the industry wholeheartedly cheering for the Abby Award winners. 

The last day (April 7) of Goafest 2018 started off on a green note when the crème-de-la-crème of the media & entertainment world decided to plant saplings for a greener tomorrow. The initiative was led by Swati Mohan, Country Head, National Geographic India; Vikram Sakhuja, President of The Advertising Club; Ashish Bhasin, Chairman of Goafest 2018 & VP of AAAI; Nakul Chopra, President of AAAI; and Prasanth Kumar, CEO, Mindshare – MENA, South Asia & Africa. 

‘Closer Is Better Than Louder’ 

Commencing the sessions was Rapha Vasconcellos, Head of Creative Shop, APAC Facebook, who talked about building meaningful social interactions and not just likes and comments. According to him, brands should focus on telling stories, the challenge is to use social media as a platform to build meaningful interactions. He went on to elaborate how a lot of brands are using various features on social media to build these interactions and soon stories as a feature will be bigger than feeds. People are jumping from apps and platforms to play with stories. 

Groups are also gaining momentum, they are a big meaningful place for people on Facebook. People are interacting with these groups to make important decisions. The people on these groups are meaningful influencers. Brands can and do use these points of connect. 

For brands to make bigger conversations, the creative community has to build differently. There are five ways to do it:

Phones are a creative tool - Small brands are teaching us to rethink our own craft. They are showing us the possibility of building a storyboard using your phone.

Do it faster and smarter - Agile creativity works. And Collaboration helps being agile.

Videos for your hands - Original or optimised shorts preferably are the way to go.

Break it to make it last longer – Phase out your communication in a 70-20-10 ratio as a good framework for immediate, interactive and immersive execution of one big idea. This helps target different times in the lifestyle/routine of the consumer.

More meaningful - Creating emotional connections with customers with one single photo, on platforms where people spend their time and attention.

He ended the session with the simple message, “The way to build to build your idea is to build it differently.” 

‘Being Human’ 

Following the insightful session by Rapha Vasconcellos was the Knowledge Seminar by WION, which saw Samuel Akesson, Art Director, Forsman & Bodenfors, turning around the entire concept of advertising on its head for us. Forsman & Bodenfors, an agency famous for its world renowned and highly acclaimed campaigns like Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split and Nike #Breaking2, is also the advertising agency which works very differently from any other agency in the world. They don’t have any hierarchy and work as a collaborative team. 

On the way the unique agency functions, Akesson said, “What we do is ‘human’ mostly.” He added, “Perhaps there’s a lack of humanity in advertising, which is why sometimes advertising is bad at making people feel anything.” 

Akesson went on to explain the three pillars that are believed in and followed to the hilt at Forsman & Bodenfors, making it an award-winning and successful agency:

Responsibility – There’s no hierarchy. Everyone is responsible for the work they do. If you do the work you’re responsible for the work. This gives a strong sense of freedom as well as ownership.

Trust – At the agency as many people see your work as possible. More minds tend to be better than few. You have to trust everyone in the agency to look at your work and understand it and give feedback. You have to trust others because they trust you too.

Courage – The trust and responsibility make us courageous. You have the support you need to execute your conviction.

After redefining the way one works, he summed up by adding, “Very often we have experienced failure and mishaps. But, in this structure of work you feel like a part of a strong community. We face such situations together which makes us feel stronger.” 

‘The Secret Rebel’ 

Tennis player and an inspiring sports icon, Sania Mirza, stole the show and the hearts of the audience as she spoke about being a girl who plays sports and the disparity between genders in the world of sports. 

According to Mirza, perseverance and a stubborn streak is what one needs. She went on to add, “As an athlete, you lose a lot more before you start winning. You have to have to be stubborn, you have to have the support around you. You have to do it for the love of the game.” 

Pointing out the gross disparity between genders in the world of sports, she said, “Even today girls have to justify why we want to go out and play.” It’s a long battle as even in today’s day and age female athletes are questioned about their pay. “The disparity is all over the world. We get equal prize money in tennis, but we still need to justify why we get that equal money. And the question is why not?” she asked. 

The future looks hopeful though, as outside of cricket most of the stars in sports we have from India are women, she highlighted. 

When asked about the country’s obsession with cricket and how other sports fit into the scheme of things, she wittily explained, “We are a cricketing nation, not a sporting nation. And there’s nothing wrong with that really. Every country has their favourite sport. It’s just that if there’s four pages of sports coverage, we would like two pages for all other sports and two pages of cricket, as opposed to three and a half pages of cricket and half-page of other sports. It’s better now slightly, other sports get one full page.” 

She also spoke about the importance of nurturing a sports culture across India. She emphasised, “Sports is not about becoming a champion or celebrity. It is always about loving the game. In this part of the world we don’t understand the importance of sports. Sports teaches us and inculcates certain values and makes people better human beings.” 

The series of Knowledge Seminars continued with Wain Choi, Chief Creative Officer of CJ K-Valley, taking to the stage to discuss building brand personality. 

Along with Siddharth Malhotra on Day 2 of Goafest, the festival had another Bollywood session with immensely talented actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He was quizzed by veteran Bollywood and television artist Annu Kapoor. 

Speaking about Goafest 2018, Nakul Chopra, President, Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), said, “When we started planning for Goafest 2018, our aim was to create a festival filled with knowledge, wisdom, entertainment, fun and which was also a great networking opportunity. The quality of the speakers, the valuable knowledge shared during the seminars, the networking opportunities across these last 3 days and presentation of Abbys that celebrate excellence in creativity are what make Goafest such a unique experience. Goafest is a confluence of creative minds who gather here year on year to connect, communicate and celebrate the amount of hard work that each one of them is putting in to make media, marketing and advertising industries successful. I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of Goafest 2018 for their unrelenting support.” 

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman of Goafest 2018 & Vice President of AAAI, added here, said, “After witnessing the event over the last three days, I can proudly say we have achieved everything that we had set out to. Not only did we have best of the speakers coming forward to impart learnings to young ones, we also saw ideas being exchanged and people truly enjoying themselves. Over the last three days, Goa has seen some of the most creative minds in India together at one place – meeting, interacting, engaging and celebrating Abby wins with each other. This is what the true spirit of Goafest is all about.” 

Also read: 

Goafest 2018 Day 1: From Pepperfry to Patanjali – the makings of an Indian MNC 

Goafest 2018 Day 2: At the intersection of AI & human tech and healing with a Sparsh

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